This paper presents survey results of Minnesota licensed chemical dependency treatment facility directors. The baseline survey was conducted by telephone in May and June 1988; and the self-administered follow-up survey was conducted in February and March of 1990, subsequent to a statewide tobacco dependence educational campaign which targeted Minnesota's chemical dependency professionals. Both the baseline (n=227) and the follow-up (n=257) surveys contained items concerning the directors' beliefs about the health effects of tobacco use, their attitudes regarding tobacco use in chemical dependency treatment, current tobacco policy in the facility, and barriers to banning tobacco use in the facility. The study used a matched-pair analysis (n=104) of the survey data to assess changes in attitudes and practices during the two years of the study. The majority (71%) of chemical dependency directors at follow-up agree that tobacco dependence should be treated like other drug dependencies. The percentage of matched facilities that treat tobacco dependence increased from 10% at baseline to 18% at follow-up. The percentage of facilities that prohibit smoking increased from 11% at baseline to 27% at follow-up. Implications of the findings and areas for further research are discussed.
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The educational intervention targeted directors, counselors, and other chemical dependency professionals. The First National Conference on Nicotine Dependency was held in September 1988 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Conference was sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition for a Smoke-Free Society 2000 and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, with financial assistance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Office of Smoking and Health. The Conference addressed the issue of nicotine as an addictive drug, the feasibility of establishing smoke-free policies in chemical dependency facilities, and the concurrent treatment of nicotine dependency with other drug dependencies. Several state-wide and regional chemical dependency conferences were held after this national conference. These conferences included sessions on the treatment of tobacco dependence in chemical dependency treatment facilities. The Minnesota Chemical Dependency Association and the institute for Chemical Dependency Professionals, the two primary statewide chemical dependency professional associations, were encouraged to urge treatment centers to incorporate nicotine dependency into their existing treatment structure and to adopt policies that prohibit tobacco use. Literature featuring tobacco dependence was published in statewide chemical dependency professional journals, magazines, newsletters, and newspapers. Consultations with the Minnesota Coalition for a Smoke-Free Society 2000 staff on tobacco dependency treatment and policy development were available to chemical dependency treatment facilities.